It’s time to chat about 2022. Forget about turkey and presents and holiday carols for a minute, because I want to share what I see as THE major thing to focus on in the new year.
It’s not about the next big investment you won’t want to miss, or the exciting new start-up, or where I think the channel is heading in terms of products or services we need. Nope. It’s much bigger (and also so much simpler!) than that.
After decades in the IT Channel, I’ve seen it all. I’ve been an investor, an advisor, a startup CEO, a newbie, a consultant, you name it! So now I think of myself as a bit of an expert, with a pulse on what vendors need to be giving their MSPs if they want to be successful and grow.
With that in mind, I’m unveiling my #1 trend for the new year: I’m calling 2022 The Year of MVE.
MVE = Minimum Viable Enablement, and it’s all about investing in your partner’s success.
Being a Good Partner
Most MSPs don’t know the first thing about effective marketing and selling, which means they will absolutely struggle when it comes to selling your product or service. And what does that mean for you, the vendor? Well, I think it’s obvious to say that it certainly doesn’t spell success.
Just as a movie star has a whole team of people–publicists, promoters, stylists, assistants, and more–behind them doing everything they can to help the actor succeed, so too does an MSP need a little support. As the vendor, you have to give it to them.
I spoke in a previous blog about how to stand out from the crowd. One way was by providing added value to MSPs, and now I’m saying it again. Teach them about your product, give them assets and resources to help them sell, set them up for success! Do this right and you’ll be successful, too.
Think of the MSP as the movie star, and the software vendor (you) as the director and publicist. You’re telling them how to best market your product, teaching them what it’s all about, and telling them what their next move should be.
Trust me: If you’re not doing some MVE, you’re headed for a rude awakening. That awakening is called CHURN!
If you’re not supporting your MSP, the partnership isn’t going to last, and that means churn. And churn is the kiss of death for a software company. Your company is valued on the partners you retain, and if 20 percent of them are leaving every year, then you’ve got a huge issue that needs to be fixed.
We’re techies, I know. But your responsibilities go beyond knowing the tech. MSPs need to know how to sell the tech, or you’re dead in the water.
And honestly, vendors aren’t that great at selling either. This is where a channel chief can really shine (I’ve written about that before, too!), or at the very least, someone who knows about marketing and knows the channel.
Top 10 Tips for MVE
To help you get started, I’ve put together 10 things you should be providing to your channel partners, RIGHT NOW!
- Co-brandable/white label sales sheets
- Sales email templates for your partner’s lead generation use
- Vertical-specific sales and marketing collateral (i.e., healthcare, financial, legal, etc.)
- Impactful statistics/infographics supporting lead generation
- Easy to edit PowerPoints/webinar decks
- Timely social media graphics
- Effective product sales training
- Product briefs and battle cards
- Weekly coaching calls (more on this in a future post!)
- Prospect sales call support
Think about what you’d want your partner to have if they were at a trade show, giving a presentation, or talking to potential customers. What would help them make the sale? What will help them connect? What critical info do they need to know? What would make their job easier? Providing resources and templates to take the guesswork out of selling and marketing your product will benefit you both.
If you’re not sure where to start, I’m here to help! Reach out with your questions and let’s chat.
Wishing you a restful and wonderful holiday season.